REDUCING LANDFILL WASTE IN CHILD CARE CENTRES ACROSS AUSTRALIA

Anois Wellness, a small natural skin care business in Adelaide South Australia, has taken the leap to compete with corporate giants and released a new product to child care centres which will significantly reduce landfill waste and improve hygiene practices across the country. In February 2020, Garden Gypsy, a subsidiary of Anois Wellness, released a […]

Anois Wellness, a small natural skin care business in Adelaide South Australia, has taken the leap to compete with corporate giants and released a new product to child care centres which will significantly reduce landfill waste and improve hygiene practices across the country.

In February 2020, Garden Gypsy, a subsidiary of Anois Wellness, released a new product range called BOHO BABY™which is a natural skin care range formulated by a herbalist specifically for babies up to 24 months of age. In March, COVID hit and retailers were scrambling to meet the demand for cleansers, sanitizer, soap, packaged food and of course, toilet paper. The appeal of a new herbal baby range had faded.

Supermarkets and retail outlets seemingly lost their interest in acquiring new product lines, so the range wasn’t as popular as she had hoped according to Ms Glasson, managing director of Anois Wellness. With the decline in supermarket sales, Ms Glasson looked at alternative avenues for sales and found a market gap in child care centres.

“Child care centres are responsible for dozens of children every day, and when they are dealing with children who have terrible nappy rash, it’s very heartbreaking for staff” says Ms Glasson, “I know our products can help, but I also know there are strict regulations around hygiene and nappy change procedures, so I did some research.”

As at March 2020 there were more than 13,000 CCS approved government child care services operating within Australia according to the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). There were 338,709 children between 0 and 2 years old that attended Australian government CCS approved child care services as at December 2019. These centres arguably produce the most landfill waste due to frequent use and disposal of soiled nappies and wipes.

“Children from birth to 2 years old typically require regular nappy changes, and on average, will have at least 5 nappy changes daily during their stay in child care” states Ms Glasson, “not only are child care centres chewing through nappies, but the amount of wipes that are used is phenomenal”.

According to calculations, approximately 1.32 billion wipes end up in landfill every year which is equivalent to approximately 6.6 tonne just from child care centres alone. “If 15 wipes are used per child for instance, per day, then multiply that by 338,709 and that’s over 5 million wipes entering landfill every day across Australia” states Ms Glasson, “In addition, over $33 million is spent on disposable wipes each year across child care centres, and most centres do not invest in biodegradable wipes”.

According to Biggreensmile.com disposable nappy wipes can take up to 100 years to decompose. For hygiene reasons, disposable wipes are the safest option to clean children in a child care setting, to avoid cross-contamination and reduce the risk of infection. However, it’s having a devastating impact on the environment.

Most services are subsidized by the Australian government, but not all. The costs associated with running a child care centre is high and to save money, many child care centres will use cheap wipes which are often quite abrasive and can contribute to nappy rash symptoms. Children will experience discomfort and some having chronic nappy rash which is red, inflamed and bleeding. “For a baby, it would be like having someone clean your genitals with sandpaper”.

The Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government and recommends that babies are cleaned using cotton balls soaked in warm water. In a child care setting this method of cleaning is impractical, so Anois Wellness developed a suitable alternative. They released a product called Aloe Vera Nappy Spray in September 2020.

Aloe Vera Nappy Spray is a natural sprayable liquid solution which is applied directly onto soiled skin, to help remove urine and poop from babies and infants during nappy changes. Its application involves spraying the solution to the soiled area and wiping away with a clean wipe or cloth. It makes nappy changes quicker and more efficient and reduces the spread of infection by improving nappy change practices.

“Implementing change is never easy, but we are proud to be the first in Australia to introduce this to child care service providers across the nation and have an approved patent to support it.”

Anois Wellness re-formulated their more popular product Spritz, so that it would be well tolerated by the majority of the population with soothing and anti-inflammatory aloe vera and microbial agents which are effective against E.coli, staphylococcus and candida. It is non-irritating, odourless, non-sticky and suitable for highly sensitive children as well as vegans. “Child care centres will not introduce products with essential oils because the risk of an allergic reaction with young infants is too high, that’s why we had to re-develop it” says Ms Glasson. The product is eco-friendly and uses ingredients that are biodegradable, safe in waste water and COSMOS and ECOCERT approved. The packaging is recyclable or re-usable and Anois Wellness offer a refilling service to participating child care centres.

Based on calculations provided by Anois, child care centres will reduce their use of wipes by 33% as well as save them money. On average, a child care centre might spend $2,438 on wipes per year and contribute to over 97,500 wipes into landfill every year. Using the spray could potentially save a centre over $600 in associated costs and prevent 32,500 wipes entering landfill each year. By participating, child care centres will also be assisting the government’s National Waste Policy Action Plan to significantly reduce business associated waste by 2030.

Ms Glasson hopes child care centres incorporate the spray into their nappy change routine, so that the total amount of wipes used will be reduced from 1.32 billion per year to 880 million which is a 33% reduction. She also hopes that centres will rethink their environmental impact and consider investing in biodegradable wipes instead. There will be a lot of happier babies out there, genital hygiene will be improved and landfill will be reduced. During unprecedented times, that’s a win for health, environment, well-being and small business.

 

 

Article Details

Originally sourced from: EcoVoice – Environment News Australia

Keywords: Eco Products,featured,full-image

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